Q: When is the TSP going to give us more investment choices?
A: The Thrift Savings Plan, the 401(k)-style program for federal employees, offers five funds that reflect stock and bond markets. One of those, tracking international stocks, will be broadened in 2019 to include emerging markets and Canada.
The TSP also offers “lifecycle” funds that mix investments in the basic funds in ratios that vary with the expected withdrawal dates — 2020, 2030, 2040 or 2050. Those mixes become more conservative over time. In 2020, the fund with that date will merge with a current income fund and the TSP will offer funds with five-year increments through 2065.
Separately, the TSP is working to allow account holders to invest in funds other than the ones it offers, including actively managed mutual funds, through an investment “window.” There is no projected date for that window to open.
Meanwhile, bills are pending in Congress to allow more choices for withdrawing money after leaving the government — and, for those at least age 59½, while still employed.
All the planned changes are aimed at bringing the TSP more up to date with what’s available in other retirement savings programs.